Cyber Threats & Misinformation Happens During US Midterm Elections
Accusations about impending foreign intervention of the U.S. midterm elections are in the air, with President Trump and his administration at the receiving end of complaints for allegedly being negligent about the issue. Vacancies that will be filled by the midterm elections are for the legislative positions in Congress. As elections draw nearer every day, there were already three alleged phishing cases involving three candidates for Congress.
Social media is also a ripe space with regards to interventionism of external states to the U.S. midterm elections. Facebook has announced that they have deleted 32 FB pages and banned many fake accounts, in order to minimize the chance of Kremlin-based organizations from disrupting the elections.
Sowing division through public FB pages and groups are intensifying, Allegedly as a wake-up call for U.S. Congress to take action early. Inflammatory messages in Facebook and Twitter were done by Non-US citizens last 2016 Presidential Elections. It is not very far that such similar harassment and tasteless activities will happen again for the midterm elections.
Dan Coats, the National Intelligence Director last February said in a Senate investigation: “the United States is under attack.” Apparently, Mr. Coats was referring to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, as those four states had a history of cyber attacks against the United States companies and government systems in the past. Coats claimed that Kremlin has the U.S. elections on its crosshairs to “undermine democracy.”
From the point of President Donald Trump, there is no evidence that foreign states are taking action against any internal activities of the United States, like the elections and other domestic concerns. Trump is known to have a friendly relationship with Russia, especially with President Vladimir Putin.
Congressmen critical of the Trump Administration only had lip service against the White House’s position. It is now considered that Information war is on, with the race to the finish of whose political color can acquire the public’s sentiments come election day.
On their part, Facebook has promised to continue the fight against fake accounts which were only designed to create mass misinformation and fool the American electorate. The Social media giant is now employing artificial intelligence techniques to accelerate the deletion of fake accounts, as the volume and speed of account creation are in bulk numbers. Many of the fake accounts had no other posts except for political-leaning messages to various political Facebook groups, in preparation for the midterms.
Congressmen critical of the Trump Administration only had lip service against the White House’s position. Americans are advised to take anything they read on the Internet, especially in social media with a grain of salt and verify the information being received. The use of two factor authentication and encryption technologies with instant messaging are also highly recommended, in order to secure the authenticity of information. The final message is to never click or open any questionable website links being shared in social media, in order to prevent becoming victims of phishing and other online frauds/scams.